Atlanta: Season 1/ Episode 9 "Juneteenth" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

Van returns and she takes Earn to a fancy party. A fancy party featuring rich Black people who could provide her some kind of opportunity. Here is hoping she gets one cause bills need to be paid.

Review (with Spoilers)

I often have, well at least as of late, mixed feelings about this show. I love the characters, but these guest stars sometimes are so weird that they seem more like a distraction than characters who either further the plot or add more color to the show. Making it where when the dial is turned down and they aren’t over the top, like in this episode, to a point, it is a welcome change. For it is like, sometimes, Donald Glover and company want you to full on experience some of the weird characters they’ve experienced in their lives without filtering or adapting them to fit the storyline of the show.

With all that said, let’s talk about Juneteenth.

Main Plot (with Commentary)

Vanessa

Without a job, without a safety net, it is time to network for Vanessa needs a job. So, both begrudgingly and awkwardly, Van picks up Earn from the apartment of some girl he is sleeping with and takes him to this mansion. A place owned by a mentor of hers named Monique () and her white husband Craig (), whose race comes into place with Earn’s plot.

 

Now, during this party, unfortunately, it assumed that she and Earn are married, he is ivy league educated, and doing well. At first, it seems the charade isn’t hard to keep up but it wears down on her with time. It is slightly hard to say why, though. Be it because this is the life she wants to have but seems nowhere close, Earn isn’t necessarily helping her ability to fit in, or because he, if for a moment, recognizes all she does in her life and it makes the fact she picked him up from some girl’s house all the more frustrating.

 

Either way, after Earn thoroughly tells Monique and Craig off, they leave and be it because she is drunk, jealous, or happy with what she has, she and Earn do a little something-something on the side of the road.

 

Earn

Imagine leaving a girl’s bed, who you likely had sex with last night, to then get picked up by your child’s mother, who you are on again and off again, as a favor because she said you two were married. Let’s add in they all assume you didn’t screw up your life, in a way we as viewers still don’t know how or why, and they think you’re successful. Ha! That sounds like something you’d want to do all day right? Right?

Let’s not forget being told you need to go to church by someone with a mega church, dealing with a bartender who doesn’t want to provide you any sort of courtesy, and then there is Craig. Well, Earn doesn’t have a choice. He basically is homeless and Van’s bed is his favorite to sleep in so he has to compromise.

However, Earn’s BS tolerance isn’t that high. So with Craig being a white guy who likes to think he is down, and Monique being bougie and looking down on rap culture, well he goes off. Which leads to surprising results. He recognizes he probably blew it for Vanessa so he apologizes and says he will apologize the next day and, to some surprise, she asks him to pull over. At first, it seems that she wanted that because she was sick. For, honestly, after a certain point, she decided that this event wasn’t going to lead to what she wanted so minas well take advantage of the free booze. Yet, rather than vomit, she wants to make out. Hold up, she is mounting Earn! Seems like baby #2 might be in the plans.

Highlights

Earn and Van Together Again

To me, Glover and Beets have good chemistry. They play off each other well and, I would say, he is definitely giving her the type of launch pad so that she can be more than simply his love interest. With that, they are presented as equals and as much as you like seeing them together, you want her to flourish on her own if he doesn’t step up. Yet, when they are this cute young duo, facing the oddities of the world together, they seem like relationship goals. In a shallow way.

Criticism

When Are We Going To Learn Why Earn Left College?

I honestly forget sometimes that this show is about more than dropping the characters in a normal scenario piled with odd people sometimes. Making it for when we are reminded that Earn is a ivy league dropout, for reasons we still don’t know why, it is a bit frustrating. For it increasingly feels this dramedy vibe the first episode gave is fading away and that was one of its main selling points. At least for me watching this and reviewing it.

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